If organisations do not have a business continuity plan in place and they are faced with some kind of disaster – natural, economic or man-made – 75% will fail to survive within the following three years. 25% will never reopen following the disaster and 80% that fail to open within one month are likely to go out of business permanently.
Business Continuity – or BC – is a common terminology, but do you have a business continuity plan to follow if disaster strikes? Most organisations accept they need a BC plan but what actually is BC and what does a BC plan look like?
Business Continuity is defined as ‘the capability of the organisation to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident’. (Source: ISO 22301:2012). This means that your business should be able to carry on doing what it always does regardless of any challenges or disasters it may face. Once a disaster hits, the clock is ticking and the sooner you can get back to business as usual - whilst also protecting your people, reputation and the credibility of your business - the more likely you are to succeed.
- Protect your staff and customers
Human or environmental disasters may put your staff and any customers on-site at risk. You’ll need to plan out what happens in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Where are these people located? Are they safe? How can you get them to safety? Compile the answers to these questions and make them a priority in your BC plan.
- Analyse your business priorities
When faced with the worst case scenario, work out which processes and people are needed to keep the business running. Which staff do you need, where are they needed and what should they be doing and when? These are all questions you should be able to answer immediately. Modelling your risks and the impacts will help.
- Create a support network
Think about creating a list of organisations you can turn to in the face of adversity and connect with them now to find out how they could help. Which businesses can support you with a fast response? Do they have the solutions you need to ensure everything runs as usual? Will they be contactable when you need them? Putting in this type of groundwork now will benefit you greatly if/when the time comes.
- Create a timeline
Timing is crucial and you need to return to business as usual ASAP. Create a business continuity time plan and enlist a number of project managers to ensure your recovery follows the timings set out. Rapidly restoring normality demonstrates business resilience to staff and customers.
- Test your plan
All new processes need testing and a BC plan is no different. Trial your plan across areas of your business. There are bound to be improvements you can make and if you don’t test now you won’t ever know where changes are needed.
Water is an essential resource for business continuity
The World Economic Forum has cited water supply as the top global risk in terms of impact to society over the next decade (World Economic Forum, 2016). Awareness of this threat to the corporate world is growing, and 65% of companies in the Global Water Report 2015 reported exposure to water risk (CDP, 2015).
An interrupted water supply could cost millions of pounds and a company’s reputation, so it’s vital to ensure that projects continue without fail. You need to keep operations on track, whether you’re undergoing a plant replacement or refurbishment, or even when disaster strikes. Here are just a number of way Veolia Water Technologies can help:
- Our Mobile Water Services provide pure water anytime and anywhere that’s needed, helping you to safeguard production and your reputation. With flow rates from 200 litres an hour to more than 150 cubic metres an hour, this service is ideal for planned hire, emergency call outs and disaster recovery.
- Our experienced service engineers are based right across the UK and are ready to help you wherever you need them.
- We offer pilot testing for many of our solutions, optimising the success of your business continuity plan before implementation, and preventing any interruptions or downtime.
- We will extend your system’s life through refurbishment and upgrades to minimise downtime and prevent lost production hours.
- We can work with you to use the True Cost of Water concept that combines direct and indirect aspects with the hidden risk-related costs of water. This provides a comprehensive view to help your decision-making on water-related disaster recovery.
Read how we helped Thames Water keep its business running by tackling snails at its Slough Wastewater Treatment Works. Click here.
Find out why companies trust us to play a key role in their business continuity planning. Talk to our team about how we can help to create and support your business continuity plan – ensuring you’re not one of the 25% that never reopens following a crisis. Call 01628 879 628.
About the Author
William has a background of working with a wide range of industrial, public sector and municipal customers. William's career in the water sector started with a start up services business focused on working with commercial, industrial and public sector organisations to manage their water and wastewater usage, costs and environmental compliance. Having grown and developed this business for 5 years William then joined Veolia Water Technologies in 2015 to focus on growing its wastewater technologies activities in the Municipal market. In 2019 William took responsibility for leading Veolia's Municipal Services Business as well as its Digital Services Business across all sectors in the UK. With a strong focus on commercial and service innovation William has been responsible for a number of development projects including involvement in the development of Veolia’s global AQUAVISTA platform of real time control and optimization services.